A reporter took White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to task over the Biden Administration’s claims regarding the debt ceiling and the Republican position on the potential crisis.
House Republicans have signaled that they are in favor of raising the debt ceiling if spending cuts are agreed to, and even passed a bill to do so, while the Biden Administration and Democrat leaders in Congress have called for the debt ceiling to be raised with no strings attached.
“Who would raise the debt limit? They passed a bill to raise the debt limit,” a reporter said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing.
“I hear you, but they are connecting passing, whatever, this debt limit, to cuts. Twenty-two percent cuts, to veterans, to seniors. That’s what they are threatening, cuts to our schools…. That’s what’s connecting, that’s what their budget plan is,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The bill doesn’t have any appropriations in it, actually,” the reporter shot back. “And the speaker has ruled out a number of those things including defense, veterans benefits, senior entitlement programs. When you have Mitt Romney saying that there has to be a conversation here, is he a MAGA Republican extremist?”
Jean-Pierre then doubled down on her claim that Republicans wish to cut funding to schools, veterans and senior citizens.
Late last month, House Republicans passed a bill that would raise the debt limit and slash spending. The Limit, Save, Grow Act aims to raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion or through the end of March 2024 depending on whichever benchmark comes first. The bill would also cap spending increases to 1% for the next decade and caps discretionary spending at 2022 levels.
President Biden is scheduled to meet with major leaders of Congress, including Speaker McCarthy (R-CA), to discuss the debt ceiling issue in the Oval Office on Tuesday. McCarthy has ruled out a short-term deal with Democrats, saying, “We shouldn’t kick the vote. Let’s just get this done now.”